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I've FLIPPIN' HAD IT!! Would like to sell my shop.

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
My shop's been open a couple of years now, and the business is doing well; sales growing despite crappy economy.
I love my place, but dealing with people in this way is maxing out my stress level to an unhealthy point.

I have no idea how to go about selling my business. And I have to be especially careful, and keep it all on the downlow, as I have lots of orders booked; don't want to lose the confidence of our customers.

This place has been my blood sweat and tears, but I don't think I can deal with the crazies anymore... and I miss my family and any sort of level of calm. We do have lots of wonderful people in here, but the turkeys are getting me down. I work hard and sacrifice substantially.
I do still enjoy cake art.

I'm still about $65K in the hole, as far as my loan goes & we did $158K in sales last year.

Input, ideas anyone, on where to begin?
I do appreciate the help/support.
post #2 of 50
Check with your local realtors. Usually someone on their sales staff specializes in selling businesses.

If you don't want to pay the commission, take ads out in ACD and Modern Baking, and try to sell it yourself.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 50
Where are you located? Maybe someone on here would like more info..
post #4 of 50
I'm guessing (hoping) that you are just looking for somewhere to vent.

I wouldn't make any rash decisions, especially if your business is doing well. Now is NOT the time to sell. The economy is so tough and if if your business is going strong, you are in a great position.

What exactly is the problem? Could it be handled by hiring a manager to deal with annoying people? Is it a pricing question? Maybe you aren't a "front of the house" sort of person and you just need to add someone to deal with the public.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water! Or the cake pan out with the cake icon_smile.gif

We're here to listen.
post #5 of 50
Have you tried getting some business coaching? It really helped us get systems in place that release us from so much of the day to day stresses. Would it be possible for you to have an employee in charge of the parts that stress you out so that would allow you to focus on the art?
post #6 of 50
Craigslist is a good place to post this stuff discretely.

If you could afford it, maybe you can consider bringing on a business manager to handle all the hassle. That would leave you free to make cakes.
post #7 of 50
I would love to have my own shop...I agree with the others...I wouldn't do anything on "a whim". If you are doing well...have you considered cutting back your hours or days that you are open...maybe only make it a 3 day week...Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Maybe if you limit your customer exposure you will get out of your "funk" and your stress would be lower. Have you considered getting someone to help out, maybe someone entry level, to at least help clean, make icing, crumb coat..etc. Or maybe try and get someone to be your customer service person..Maybe someone that will only deal with the customers..and you can continue your passion for decorating only? I would hate for you to do something rash, and then in a year or two regret it...Maybe take some time off too...I know you said you had orders, but maybe in a month or so block out your schedule..and "close up shop" for a mental vacation...Good luck..maybe talking to others will help you..!
post #8 of 50
I am with Mccakegal and kissylips. Now is probably a good time to sit down with your partner/spouse and re-evaluate you and your shop. Dont do something that youll regret. Allow yourself to take a step back and look at the BIG picture. And maybe hiring a bulldog up front might let you be more productive in the back.

Make a list of things that you would like to see happen to your shop. Include your employees, have them step up or get rid of them. It is up to you.

I am not a business owner, but I do know that there are a few out here that might say the same thing. And an outside party might do the trick, business coach or a bakers network.

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Remember to breathe and just keep swimming. I love that phase! LOL Best of luck to you!


post #9 of 50
I'm going to agree with a couple others, and get someone to handle the customers, and YOU stick with the baking and decorating for awhile...... the public, bless them, will drive you NUTS if you allow them to...... Take a step back and a DEEP breath..... okay..... maybe two, and GET SOME HELP........
post #10 of 50
do you have any local colleges? maybe you could get a couple of interns to help with some of the customers & basic decorating
post #11 of 50
I so agree with the others who have suggested you find someone to handle the customer service end of the business.

I've worked with the public my whole career and I do know how crazy they can be.

You might be able to arrange it on a part time basis maybe getting someone from a local business college who needs something on their resume.

Please don't be impulsive and give up something your've obviously worked hard to acheive.
post #12 of 50
I have no words of advice - just wanted to say I totally understand what you are saying. I LOVE LOVE LOVE cake decorating but having to deal with the customers is my LEAST favorite part. They want to talk on the phone about their orders a million times and lately if I get another mom with an only child and it's their first birthday - I MIGHT SCREAM. Those mom's are PICKY PICKY PICKY and it is so obvious they only have that one child and their life centers around them and this birthday party. Don't get me wrong, it is a special birthday, but it is so funny to me the difference between a mom doing their first birthdya party with their one-year-old and a mom who has several kids!
post #13 of 50
I can bet I know exactly what stage you are at. You're trying to do everything and nothing seems to be getting done. THe business is growing and you feel it's growing out of control. Like you're "losing it".

Am I close?

If I'm close, then you need to read the book "The e-Myth" by Michael Gerber. You can get it pretty cheap at Amazon.

In a nutshell, this explains how we start a business with our passion, then end up wearing 14 different hats and we start to lose our passion. It helps show us that we are not a failure, we are not unorganized, we are not short-tempered ... we just can't do it all, all by ourself.

This book motivated me to hire a bookkeeping service. I was stressing because the books weren't getting done, which made me dread walking into my office area, made me dread the 'end-of-the-month', etc. I didn't want to dread doing what I love. So I took my first major step toward delegating. I didn't think I could afford this service ... but I can't afford not to.

And thanks to a GREAT referral from a fellow CC'er, I found a fabulous bookkeeping service, who was way less than half price of the first one I interviewed! Way more affordable than I ever thought it could be!

Get the book. You'll feel better. thumbs_up.gif
post #14 of 50
I'm not sure what stage you are at, but maybe you could raise your prices a bit and still end up with a profit without so much angst - or at least make it more worth your while to put up with it. A few less customers - but same bottom line.


post #15 of 50
As Indi suggested, Read the book "The e-Myth" by Michael Gerber immediately. You can get it locally at a bookstore or download it online.

This may not change your mind, but it will show you what happened and how you can fix it if you really want to.
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